Conductive materials supplement alters digestate dewaterability during anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and sewage sludge and promotes follow-up indigenous peroxides activation

Jialin Liang, Liwen Luo, Dongyi Li, Hailong Wang, Jonathan W. C. Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite growing interest in conductive materials amended anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and sewage sludge and demonstrated process improvement, little information is available on how conductive materials affect the digestate dewaterability. This study traced the dewaterability and physicochemical properties of digestate in anaerobic co-digestion process by supplying three representative conductive materials (i.e., zero-valent iron (ZVI), magnetite, and biochar) and evaluated the practicability of indigenous peroxides activation to improve digestate dewaterability. Results showed that supplying conductive materials, especially ZVI and biochar performed the higher methane yield (enhanced by > 23.1%) and better digestate dewaterability (specific resistance of filtration reduction > 57.1%). The mechanism exploration demonstrated that the ZVI and biochar supplement in the anaerobic co-digestion system effectively changed the microbial community probably related to organics-degrading bacteria, causing the reduction of hydrophilic tyrosine-like/tryptophan-like components (>13.2%) and protein secondary structure (the reduction value of α–helix/(β–sheet + random coil) > 46.9%) in extracellular polymeric substances. Accordingly, the water-bound energy and hydrophilicity of digestate were significantly weakened, thus promoting digestate dewaterability. The downstream dewatering experiments indicated that the residual ZVI in digestate could more efficiently active peroxides for further enhancing dewaterability with economic advantage. These findings pioneer the potential application of the conductive materials assisted anaerobic co-digestion combined with coagulants/peroxides conditioning technology for advantages of environmental sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133875
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume431
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

User-Defined Keywords

  • Conductive materials
  • Digestate dewaterability
  • Extracellular polymeric substances
  • Indigenous peroxides activation
  • Microbial community

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